With the frigid temperatures much of the country is experiencing right now, we can hardly say spring is in the air. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t on our minds. The impending launch of our spring catalog has us dreaming in vivid color — and beckoning spring’s arrival. In the meantime, we got together with Karen Mooney, our Senior Vice President of Brand Management, to chat about the new catalog and some of our favorite looks.
Ballard Designs: What inspired you while planning the spring collection?
Karen Mooney: It all started with a piece of fabric, believe it or not. The fabric buyers presented a sample of the Courtney fabric (above) to the merchandising team, and everyone fell in love. All of the buyers wanted to do something around it. It has a surprising amount of fun detail within the pattern if you look closely, but what drew us in was the palette. We pulled out every single Pantone color and created this instant palette that became the driving force behind our spring catalog.
BD: We love Courtney. Tell us more about the palette.
KM: Courtney has a lot of crisp, bright blues and greens — turquoise and citron — and some beautiful taupes, too. You’ll find variations on the palette throughout the catalog. Sometimes it’s more soft and subtle and sometimes it’s more intense. We made everything we could out of Courtney, including panels, slipcovers and throw pillows. But you can also see the color inspiration in so many other items, from our Trapani Olive Jars to our Collette French Knot Bedding to our newest Buffalo Check Personalized Comfort Mat.
BD: Does this palette translate into outdoors, too?
KM: Yes, you’re going to see those cleaner colors both inside and out, but with subtle differences. Inside, things are getting a little more saturated. For example, the spa tones we love so much are going a little deeper — think peacock. We want that rich color in a garden seat, throw pillow or art. These colors stand up nicely to dark furniture, too. Outdoors, the palette is much brighter and more intense. Take the Canvas Turquoise — it’s so clean and crisp and bright. A fun pop of color! But what’s great about these new fabrics is that they all tie back nicely to our tried-and-true fabrics, which are more muted.
BD: You’re continuing to expand our spa palette, including some new favorites?
KM: We just added Buffalo Check Spa and we’re really loving it on the bed, as drapery or on an accent chair or ottoman. The pattern is classic, if not a little country, but it’s really elevated itself. Especially in spa, it becomes the one thing in the room that’s a bold statement.
BD: Let’s not forget about Dodie.
KM: We can’t get enough of Dodie. It’s our new favorite animal print. It only made sense to add it in spa and take it into the bedroom. Dodie’s like a pair of cheetah shoes — it’s that little extra thing that adds interest and mixes with anything. Look on Pinterest and you’ll see it in outfits — mixed with a plaid scarf or a gingham shirt. The same way you get dressed is the same way you want to decorate your room. It’s that one little thing. You don’t want 50 of them, but you don’t want an all khaki room, either. A little dollop of Tabasco.
BD: For contrast, we’re seeing a lot of apricot and coral tones.
KM: Yes, coral is coming on strong both indoors and out. It’s a brighter coral and is a great little pop of color. It mixes really nicely with spa and mineral — we really love that juxtaposition.
BD: Were there any other overarching themes with this catalog?
KM: This time of year is really when we start turning our attention to outdoor. We take a little toe dip in March where we introduce some of the fun things we have planned for outdoor. It’s the perfect time to start sprucing up and thinking about outdoor entertaining.
BD: And how are we sprucing up this year?
KM: It’s all about fresh color and pattern. People really gravitate toward a strong statement outside, and why not? We have lots of new Sunbrella fabrics in sensational colors and styles. Our Black Canopy Stripe is huge, so this year we added Dottie, this really fun oversized polka dot pattern in two colorways. We’re loving our Aruba Paisley – you can really build a nice palette from it with our ocean-inspired blues. And of course we love our French-inspired Seneca Stripes, which can take you in a few different directions, color-wise. All it takes to add a little interest outside is a new umbrella, throw pillows or an ottoman. Just have fun.
BD: This summer, customers really can do it all with these outdoor fabrics.
KM: Yes! This is the first time that all 42 of our outdoor fabrics are available in everything across the board — from panels to cushions to umbrellas. And another thing we’ve noticed is that more and more people are using our Sunbrella® fabrics on their upholstered furniture indoors. You can’t tell it’s an outdoor fabric. And if you think it will last longer, your children aren’t going to ruin it and you can scrub it down, it’s worth it. It’s better than having to buy a whole new chair.
BD: Let’s talk about this great catalog cover for March.
KM: We deconstructed the look on the inside cover for the March cover. This beautiful Casa Florentina piece comes in so much more than just brown, white or gray, so we wanted to showcase it in a fresh green finish and enhance the color story with the botanicals. We also wanted to show how you can use this full assortment of mirrors. The sunburst is a staple for us, and the more the better.
Karen’s Favorite New Additions for Spring:
1. Louis Cane Back Dining Chairs
“Love the refined caned back (which is also quite comfy for long dinners) paired with the dressed down spit tacks. They feel very elegant without being too formal.”
Sanibel Stripe Bedding
“I keep linens very neutral. With this bedding, you get a strong, but subtle stripe that adds interest to the top of the bed without adding pattern. Very serene.”
Piper Woven Cloches
“I entertain quite a bit outside and always struggle with the occasional (or not so occasional) bug getting into the food. These cloches are not only attractive, they are big enough to cover large trays of food or groupings of smaller bowls and plate. Very practical.”
Venetian Trade Beads
“The colors are so enticing, I want to decorate with them AND wear them.”
“Sooooo practical but still very cool looking and incredibly affordable. You can configure your own bar space depending on how many glasses and bottles of wine you keep on hand.”
Grand Size additions to Deauville Drapery Hardware
“I’ve been waiting a long time for us to add this heftier size to our hardware. The new size is about twice as large in diameter as our classic hardware so it has a real presence on the wall.”